The Philippines is known for their beaches, islands and festivals! Finally, I got to enjoy my first ever Filipino Festival. Pahiyas Festival is perfect for those who don't need a huge parade and enjoy taking time for the experience. I was especially partial to the festival because I love bright colors and home decor, a perfect combination.
Pahiyas Homes & Details|
The Pahiyas Festival is a celebration of thanksgiving for good harvest. 'Pahiyas' actually means precious offering and the tradition began all the way back in the 16th Century. It is done in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers. The festival was traditionally simple but in 1963 a group of artists decided to put together an exhibit to showcase crafts, folk dances, art work and photos from all over the Philippines. And that is how Pahiyas Festival has evolved into what it is today.
traditional Lucban home
traditional Lucban home during Pahiyas Festival
crushed rice and monggo were used to create this piece
crushed rice and monggo details
The bright colored leaves you see here are called 'kipings' and are actually made from ground rice, water, sugar and colored with food colorants. Kiping is an edible leaf-like wafer used into making large aranyas (chandeliers) and can also be formed into flowers, charms and other embellishments. Kiping is also edible and can be eaten during the fiesta, fried and coated in sugar.
Does your lunch smile back at you?
this sweet girl would pop in and out to watch all the passers by
The flying upo butterflies are a magical touch.
even the eaves were decked out with wheat
Artists play a large role in the Pahiyas Festival. This particular home was a featured local artist Mark Salvatus and one of my personal favorites.
this was all created from monggo, brown rice and corn!
Pahiyas Festival is an all day affair as you take your time walking the streets to view all the different colorful homes. The barangay officials map out which streets of Lucban will be participating in the festival that year. There is a contest with consolation prizes and the top place earns a price of 100,000 php!
many of the activities are centered around the historic church. a mass is held in honor at the start the annual festival.
My visit to Lucban taught me that this province knows how to eat and they never stop! Lucban is well known for their garlic longganisa, pancit habhab (to be eaten by hand) and pilipit. I was lucky enough to eat all of them!
hand stuffed longganisa
pilipit is a squash donut with a sugar glaze
and this my friends is 'booger jam' because you have to pick it out just like you would a booger
While Pahiyas Festival is predominantly about the houses, an annual parade is also held in the middle of the day. The highlight for me were the ornate costume designs. I have truly never seen anything so remarkable.
The details on each gown were phenonmenally intricate and detailed.
not just houses are a part of the decorating
the famous Filipino smile
The most enjoyable part of the festival for me was being hosted by a generous Filipino family. My friend Jenny is the ultimate Pinay; full of graciousness, hospitality and kindness. She took me into her home with her large Filipina family in the province to enjoy a uniquely Filipino experience. I am so fortunate to have this culture welcome me and teach me a new way of life.